Night buses with Home Guards on board take to city roads

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on Thursday launched a strengthened night bus service in the city, with a Home Guard in each bus for added security.

The move comes almost two weeks after a 23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped on board a private bus prompting widespread protests and demands for better safety for women in the capital.

Senior DTC officials said they would consider deployment of Home Guards even during the evening.

Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami flagged off the service late on Thursday night from the DTC depot in Shadipur.

"The service, between 11 pm and 4 am, now includes double the number of buses and will connect all important junctions across the city including ISBTs, airports, railway stations and major hospitals," Goswami said.

He added that 89 non-AC buses would now ply on 22 routes —many of them are new ones — with a frequency of 10 to 50 minutes. The service is available at normal fares.

According to Goswami, 100 Home Guards have been requisitioned for deployment in night buses. "There will be one guard in each bus for added security and safety of all passengers. All the staff deployed for these services have been provided with an identification badges and trained to face challenges. They have also been provided the locations of police stations on their respective routes," Goswami said.

"We are considering a few other options including a further increase in the number of night buses. This night service will be monitored faithfully to weed out any flaws," Goswami said.

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